I left my house, my family, my career and my native country when I moved to the United States from Venezuela.
How is it that an associate degree altered my perspective on life so dramatically?
Following my retirement, I enrolled in a philosophy class at Elgin Community College. When family and friends questioned me why I took this class at my age, I was stunned.
I still remember the day I got the news that I was accepted into Elgin Community College’s nursing program.
My time at Elgin Community College has been nothing short of amazing. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
A message from ECC President David Sam about Illinois' bachelor’s degree completion rates among community college students who transfer to four-year colleges.
My experience at ECC has been outstanding! The people and staff here have helped me change my life.
My journey at Elgin Community College has been an emotional rollercoaster.
I came to Elgin Community College in the fall of 2016, undecided and a little disappointed in myself for not being away at school.
As the demand for skilled welders heats up, ECC has lit a spark in teenage residents by providing them with valuable experience in a field with high growth potential.
Dear ECC Community, 6.9 million. That is the number of job openings reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at the end of July 2018.
Associate Professor of Adult Basic Education Sally Guy brings her worldview to the classroom. Guy loves to travel and spent a semester abroad in Europe during college.
In her position as Director of Spartan Terrace Restaurant, Jenn Loiacano gets to do two of her favorite things every day—teach culinary classes and plan events. She’s overseen operations of the student-run restaurant since joining Elgin Community College in January 2017.
Kwanyin Linares’ educational journey began in 2017 in Venezuela, where she was a university student pursuing her dream to become a nurse.
Dreaming in color, succeeding in life: ECC’s celebration of diversity and commitment to equity runs year-round
At Elgin Community College, our values of inclusivity, diversity and equity are tangible the moment you set foot on campus.
Give us 50 years, and we’ll give you 7,000 leaders who are well-equipped to become paragons of success within the community.
If you asked adjunct welding instructor Chester “Al” Collins how to perfect your weld, he’d tell you: proper technique and practice. But how about finding the perfect, fulfilling career? For Collins, it’s blending his burning passion for helping Elgin Community College students succeed with years of [metal] strong experience in the field he’s teaching.
For Managing Director of Retail Operations Kelly Strossner, it’s all about the books. Her love for literature goes way back to her first job in a bookstore when she was 15 and her school days when she became fascinated with fiction (and nonfiction).
Technical Enrollment Facilitator Jurice Jackson is the ultimate fan—of sports and seeing Elgin Community College students reach their dreams.
In marathon running and in life, preparation is key. English Unit Adjunct Faculty member Susan Zelms helps Elgin Community College students during the degree completion “race,” giving them a leg up in life—and cheering them on as they cross the finish line to walk across the stage during commencement.
A message from ECC President David Sam about community colleges' role in training the new generation of skilled workers.
Walt Disney World may be the most magical place on earth, but for Wendy Miller, dean of health professions, math, science and engineering, Elgin Community College is the most rewarding place on earth.
In the classroom and with her flip houses, Instructor of English Ginger Alms enjoys developing potential.
Aristotle’s quote “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work” rings true for Brandi Clemmons, event coordinator, who works in Elgin Community College’s Facilities Rental and Food Services division.
A special “I Dream in Color Week” kick-off message from event creator Brittany Barber
Adjunct Digital Technologies Instructor Mary Peterhans, an Elgin Community College veteran of 35 years, knows what it takes to be successful at ECC: Put students first.
Admissions Coordinator Ramon Albino has been a Spartan for over 13 years since first beginning as a student employee in 2005. He’s held various positions within the college including student trustee, student worker and technical enrollment facilitator, but his latest move has him on the Admissions office roster.
Associate Dean of Advising, Transfer and Career Development Services Peggy Gundrum, remembers the challenges of being a college student and recent graduate. Her passion for serving students at Elgin Community College is fueled by her own experience.
Education and Work Center (EWC) Transitions Coordinator Peter Gray seeks to make meaningful connections with people through the intercultural communication skills he’s acquired along his educational and professional journey.
The beginning of fall semester at Elgin Community College will be here before you know it! Are you as excited as we are?
Elgin Community College helped graduate Julissa Alvarez earn a paralegal certificate and start a new career.
Elgin Community College helped graduate Andrew Pratt overcome obstacles and pursue his dream of becoming an animator.
Elgin Community College helped veteran Alex Theimer earn his associate degree and transfer to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
A hearty supply of fresh garden-grown vegetables are now available at Elgin Community College’s student-run Spartan Food Pantry thanks to two garden beds in the Advocate Sherman Hospital Natural Prairie and Community Garden.
The case is over for Michelle Cortez, but future students of Elgin Community College’s Cold Case Investigative Research Institute will continue to research the mysterious 2013 disappearance of 24-year-old model Ryan Singleton, whose unexplained death in California made national headlines.
For Graphic Designer Lisa Morema-Murphy, it’s always been about art. Although she had also been interested in science and music in high school, Morema-Murphy’s mentor encouraged her to take a course at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in pursuit of her interests.
People often treated Pietrek Kubasak differently when they learned he was homeschooled–it was usually in a good way. “A veterinarian explained biology and surgery to me. An HVAC specialist described how a system worked,” Pietrek recalled.
Senior Director of Human Resource Information Systems Kristin Richmond "makes molehills out of mountains…of paper." She supervises the area that is responsible for HR systems strategy, implementation and maintenance, in addition to the function that maintains data related to Elgin Community College employees
On Saturday, April 28, Elgin Community College’s English as a Second Language Program celebrated with an annual tradition. The event honored 89 students who transitioned from one ESL level to the next, or who have completed ESL and transferred into college-level classes.
Things like this don’t happen to people like me; I was brought up in adversity, and I spent most of my life in adversity. There was never a time in my life when I thought I would be graduating from college with a 4.0 GPA, be selected as a commencement speaker, and have a full-time job in the field in which I am earning my degree.
Elgin Community College was not on the list of the colleges and universities I originally wanted to attend. Back in high school, I heard about community college stereotypes and remember wanting to be like the kids who planned to go to four-year universities.
My journey at Elgin Community College has been not only long and arduous, but quite rewarding and meaningful! After graduating a semester early from high school in January 2015, I had a head start on beginning my college career at ECC, where I’ve worked hard to earn my associate degree in management.
I moved to Algonquin with my mom in 2015. At that point, I was a high school dropout with no motivation and a past I wasn’t proud of. So, I took moving as an opportunity to start over and make something of myself. Shortly after getting settled, I got a job, received my GED, and I began my journey at Elgin Community College.
“Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.” This influential quote by Michelle Obama has become the reality of my journey at Elgin Community College. My college journey began in the spring of 2016 and has carried me through some incredible moments since then.
Learning English was one of the most important goals that I wanted to achieve when I moved to the United States in 2013. Back then, I only knew a couple words, and I could not understand anything when someone was talking to me. I felt frustrated because I really wanted to know what people were talking about and to be a part of their conversation.
During my senior year of high school, I started at Elgin Community College through the amazing tech prep program and discovered my goals; but the opportunities I received didn’t stop there.
At Elgin Community College, I have gained valuable experiences. Through Student Government, in the position of senator and vice president, I was able to work with a team of fellow student leaders to promote student welfare. I became exposed to the art of advocacy while representing the ECC community to legislators in Springfield
Two years ago, I was ready to dive into debt for a private university education instead of considering Elgin Community College. Today, I leave saying that attending ECC is one of the best choices I have ever made due to its affordability, quality professors, and the important connections and lasting friendships I found.
Brittany Pales: ECC invests in smart, caring students who make a difference in the world; I am that difference
Everything is possible with Elgin Community College as a starting point. I have been attending ECC for three years to earn my Associate in Arts degree. I have been involved in Phi Theta Kappa, engaged in honors program classes, and included on the President’s List each semester of my attendance.
When I reflect on my time at Elgin Community College, I am overwhelmed at the sense of accomplishment and joy that I feel in earning my dream degree. I have attended ECC for the past four years, and will be finishing my Associate of Applied Science in nursing degree with honors.
My last three years at Elgin Community College have been like a roller coaster, with many ups and downs. ECC has always accepted me and provided me with enormous opportunities for which I will forever be extremely grateful.
I began my journey at Elgin Community College just under two years ago. Along the way, things haven’t always been easy, yet I managed to persist with my education and will now be graduating with my Associate in Arts this spring.
Currently in her first year as director of Elgin Community College’s Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL), Elizabeth "Liddy" Hope, PhD, describes herself as a teacher for the teachers. Having taught at ECC as a unit adjunct faculty member in sociology since 2011 (and at nine institutions total since 1998), Hope is well-prepared to serve ECC faculty.
Humanities Adjunct Instructor Baudelaire Ulysse, EdD, was searching for a home when he first visited Elgin in 2007. While he found a home elsewhere, a tour of Elgin Community College made a strong impression with him.
A decision to learn how to juggle over 20 years ago turned into a relatable, lesson-worthy opportunity for Elgin Community College Professor of English and Honors Program Director Jason Kane.
When Pietrina Probst, Elgin Community College’s coordinator of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and student disabilities services, discussed the idea of Disability Awareness Month, ECC students didn’t hesitate. Probst, the advisor of ADAPT—a student club that advocates for disability awareness—said students were eager to get plans in motion.
Elgin Community College Adjunct Math Instructor Will Doty knows the importance of preparation, practice and adaptation, both in his leading role as professor and side gig as a crowd-pleasing karaoke singer. A big fan of music and theatre, Doty compares teaching to “producing, rehearsing and performing a new concert or play daily,” because of the amount of effort, planning and rehearsing that goes into just one day’s lesson plans.
For Assistant Professor of English Nick Obradovich, learning and martial arts go hand in hand. Read more to learn why he compares studying Brazilian Jiu-jitsu to earning a bachelor’s degree.
Nearly three months in as Elgin Community College’s top cop, David Kintz can put away the breadcrumbs. If he ever needed directions anywhere on campus during his first two weeks at ECC, Kintz noted that everyone—students, faculty, staff or administrators—have been more than willing to point him in the right direction.
Divya Ajinth is motivated by the opportunity she has each day to impact the lives of the students she teaches in her Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Adult Secondary Education (ASE) classes. Her role as an ABE/ASE instructor prepares those Elgin Community College students for not only to take the High School Equivalency (HSE) Exam, but also qualify for better educational and career opportunities.
Music is a big part of Dawn Munson's life, having played trumpet since she was 10 years old. In fact, music also brought her to Elgin Community College, where she participated in the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra when she was in seventh grade.
Student survivors of the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida are grieving. But they are also organizing. Within days of the tragedy students used social media, television events, and a planned “March for Our Lives” on March 24th to shape the message around the shooting: #NeverAgain.
David Rudden, managing director of institutional research (IR), describes his position as the “Chandler Bing job of higher education,” referring to the popular character on the TV show “Friends” who no one knows what he does for a living.
Kim Wagner, executive director of student financial services and auxiliary enterprises, oversees the teams that operate the financial aid, student accounts, business and finance systems, food operations, bookstore and child care departments within the business and finance division at ECC.
Elgin native Laura Haske, JD, assistant paralegal professor and paralegal instructional coordinator, moved out of state for college and lived in a few different cities before returning to Elgin in 2009, a move that was prompted by the desire to be closer to family.
What does a guitar have to do with math? Plenty, says Mathematics Instructor Greg Wheaton. “There is an overlap,” he explains. “It's thinking about strategy and having precision when you play.”
If you've ever come across an advertisement for ECC online, over the radio or on TV, you've likely heard Ashley Zeman's voice. As marketing and public relations specialist and the college's resident voiceover artist, Zeman “helps departments at the college develop marketing strategies and plans to promote various programs, services and events.”
For Dan Kernler, associate professor of mathematics, it all matters. From helping students become college-ready in math, to providing the knowledge and skills to complete courses and master content directly related to their major and future career, he has been positively impacting students for 14 years since joining the college in 2003.
Managing Director of Enrollment Services Jennifer McClure swings for the fences and never misses when it comes to helping students and employees. Read about her accomplishments and her devotion to the Chicago Cubs as well as the Spartans.